The ale can be omitted if you prefer. It adds a bit of tang to the soup.
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups leeks diced (whites only), cleaned of sand
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup of ale or beer
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
4 cups broccoli florets
2 cups half & half
Few shakes of Tabasco sauce
Few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 pound shredded sharp white cheddar (5 cups)
In a 6-8 quart pot, melt butter over medium heat and add onion, leeks, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for five minutes. Lower heat to medium low and add flour, salt, pepper, mustard and nutmeg and stir to combine.
Cook this mixture on medium low for three minutes then add the ale. Stir and cook for one minute then increase heat to medium to medium high add the stock, bay leaves and broccoli and cook until the broccoli is tender, about 8-10 minutes. Be careful that the mixture does not stick to the bottom.
Remove the bay leaves and discard. With an immersion blender, puree just until the broccoli is broken up into small pieces. You should still see little green bits in the puree and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add half & half, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and stir.
Add all of the cheese and stir in to melt. Reheat to serving temperature and serve.
Keywords: broccoli cheddar soup